More than meets the eye: A photo-elicitation study of gender (dis)affirmation in seven gender non-conforming university students
journal contributionposted on 2019-09-04, 15:41 authored by Gemma WitcombGemma Witcomb, Harriett Brophy, Hilary McDermottHilary McDermott
Clinical literature has reported on the increasing prevalence of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people and extensively documented the high levels of discrimination and poor mental wellbeing experienced by this group. However, research that explores how gender affirmation (or otherwise) in everyday life affects an individual’s lived experience is scant. This study aimed to address this crucial gap, employing photo-elicitation to collect authentic experiential accounts of how TGD students view their world. Seven TGD students took part and provided six photographs; 3 that represented salient aspects of gender affirmation and 3 that represented non-affirmation, along with explanatory textual commentary. The data were subjected to Thematic Analysis. Four themes were identified which highlight the complexities of TGD identities, as well as common sources of negativity and distress. Overall, this study provides valuable insight into gender affirmation among TGD students and offers an authentic lens alongside which other clinically-based quantitative research can be viewed. Documenting the lived experiences of TGD students is imperative if society is to move forward in understanding the complexity of gender identity in education.
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